San Diego’s $4 billion plan to boost the city’s water independence is facing delays and cost increases thanks to a legal dispute over the use of unionized construction workers.
A judge issued an injunction in June that halted the project, a recycling system called “Pure Water” that would purify treated sewage into drinking water and supply one-third of the city’s water supply by 2035.
The injunction, which San Diego officials estimate is costing them $4 million a month, was prompted by a city compromise that requires union workers on some Pure Water projects and allows union and non-union workers on others.
The San Diego chapter of the Associated General Contractors, a coalition of contractors, contends the city’s compromise favors union workers. It filed suit in May claiming the compromise violates a successful 2012 city ballot measure that regulates the use of union workers on projects.
Superior Court Judge John Meyer agreed, issuing a preliminary injunction that forced city officials to halt soliciting bids for Pure Water projects and to begin exploring their legal options.
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